The final phase of restoration in Glenwood Canyon turns to debris-choked Colorado River |

The final phase of restoration in Glenwood Canyon turns to debris-choked Colorado River

Jason Blevins
The Colorado Sun

GLENWOOD CANYON — Andrew Knapp leans over the railing of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon and scowls at a jumble of rocks clogging the Colorado River. Those piercing piles of boulders — swept down the canyon walls in a cataclysmic rainstorm on July 29 — were rubbing against the retaining wall beneath the highway when flows were higher.

“You could hear what sounded like thunder with all those rocks just rolling downstream. That really concerned us,” said the Colorado Department of Transportation engineer.

Examination of that highway retaining wall in the Colorado River below Devil’s Hole Canyon shows it is undamaged. For now.

“But we are thinking about spring runoff,” said Knapp, who is directing CDOT’s monumental task of repairing and rebuilding Interstate 70 and the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon after the July 29 rainstorm that swept hundreds of thousands of tons of rock, mud and trees onto the highway, recreation path and riverbed.

In a week or so, CDOT will announce it has completed repairs of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon. Crews have finished rebuilding the roadway, thanks to a unified push by a host of federal and state agencies.

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